Some of us have been dreaming about moving out to start college for a long time. However, the initial joy of starting fresh can eventually (and sometimes very quickly) be hampered by the challenges of sharing your personal space with virtual strangers, stressing over the crippling workload of college, and virtually fending for yourself.
Add to that the constant pressure of living in a small, constrained space for nine months out of 12 for the next four years of your life, and things may start to feel a bit daunting.
You can easily go overboard with packing and end up with more stuff than you need. For many, it becomes challenging to take control of their budget.
But don’t let any of that put you off! Everything is perfectly manageable – yes, even the easy clutter that can make a tiny dorm feel positively claustrophobic at times!
You must be wondering how, and the answer is quite simple: adopt minimalism.
Small lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping you better manage your time, resources, and, most importantly: your space when you start becoming a minimalist. Living with less clutter (physical and mental) can help your college life become more mindful, easy-going, independent, and less stressful.
Going minimal can help you rediscover yourself and reinvent your dorm room to make the next four years of your life decidedly easier. If you want to know how, here are some great ideas to plan and make use of basic minimalist principles:
What is minimalism?
To plan ahead, you first need to understand the basic concept of what minimalism offers and the essence of this lifestyle.
While initially an art movement that came about in the 1950s, minimalism quickly took a life of permeating architecture, interior design, and even the way people live.
It dictates that you get rid of every extra and frou-frou object in your life so that every purpose you own can be more meaningful. It dictates that you live with the bare necessities and only the things that you well and truly need. This includes clothes, accessories, and even furniture.
Most importantly, minimalism is not only rooted in the physical aspect of things, but it can also be applied to your mental health.
The gist is, the less cluttery your physical space has, the more open and relaxed your mind will become.
Now that you understand what minimal means being, let’s look at all the things you can do to incorporate this lifestyle in your college dorm room:
How to Plan and Pack for a Minimalist Dorm Room
The first thing you need to do is call the Housing Department of your college and get as much information about your dorm as possible. This may include the size, the layout, the common areas, and even the bathrooms (are they shared or not).
You can also inquire about the appliances and what kind of items may not be allowed on the dorm list. If you can manage to set up a visit to your dorm before moving day, that’d be great. It can help you get an appraisal of what kind of furniture, carpet, and other accessories are already available (and in what condition).
Once you’ve got all this information, you need to create a packing list. Remember: pick smartly. Just because you’re heading out on your own does not mean you pack your entire room to bring with you.
After that, you can get in contact with your dorm mates. Get to know them and cross-check what they’re bringing so that you won’t move any unnecessary items.
Once you’ve got a handle on all these things, you can start planning the layout of your dorm. It can also help you determine what small appliances you should bring with you. For example, many dorm RAs and supervisors occasionally do a bust-check to see if anyone brought high-voltage appliances.
Other than that, you just need to figure out the bare necessities, i.e., what kind of stuff you need to make your new space feel like a home away from home. These should include clothes, toiletries, medicine, cleaning products, gadgets, your college education essentials (such as books, stationery, etc.), relevant documents, and maybe bed covers. Note that all of these things are absolute must-haves. If you’ve got them, there’s nothing else that you should need.
The items you do NOT need include random décor and accessories (yes, even wall posters, because of visual clutter). Keep things clean and decluttered.
Minimalist Dorm Room Must Haves
When you’re moving in with a roommate, it’s a given that both of you are going to have their own furniture. Basically, the small space of your dorm will contain as many desks, beds, and dressers as the people sharing it.
If your dorm isn’t already furnished, to begin with, then your first job here is to pick out ergonomic and minimalist furniture. Here are some suggestions:
If you’re shopping for a bed, you can make sure that it’s a foldable design or storage underneath.
Wooden Daybed with Trundle Bed and Two Storage Drawers
You can opt for a small compact dresser instead of the full-scale old-school shebang. You can also go for a standing mirror with built-in storage. These are super trendy and always turn out to be colossal space-saving, accessory arranging lifesavers.